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GRAIN FARMERS OF ONTARIO ANNUAL COUNTY MEETINGS
Details for the District meetings in association with Grain Farmers of Ontario, formerly the Ontario Corn Producers’ Association, the Ontario Soybean Growers, and the Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board are listed on the previous page. If your District meeting time and place is still to be determined, check upcoming newsletters and the website at www.gfo.ca.
These meetings are an invaluable way for farmers to learn about Grain Farmers of Ontario’s activities and to get involved. Look for more meeting information such as voting guidelines in upcoming newsletters and on the web.
59TH ANNUAL ESSEX COUNTY ASSOCIATED GROWERS
The 59th Annual Essex County Associated Growers will be holding their Bounty of the County Trade Show at the Leamington Kinsmen Recreation Complex, 249 Sherk Street, Leamington, Ontario on November 24 &?25, 2009.
Join them for cooking demonstrations, the newest agricultural technology and equipment and informative speaker programs.
For more information, please contact the Essex County Associated Growers’ office at 519-326-4481.
Come listen to a shrewd analysis of global market prices at the Marketing Workshop presented by the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario, Bayer CropScience and the Canadian Farm Business Management Council.
On Tuesday, December 8 listen to John DePutter’s keynote address on new economic trends and what they mean for agriculture. He will cover topics such as: beyond the borrowing binge, currency shifts, impacts of non-ag commodity tends on the markets and surpluses or shortages of world grain supplies.
What: IFAO Marketing Workshop
When: Tuesday, December 8 from 9:30 to 3:30
Where: Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre, Cambridge, Ontario
Please register before November 30 at www.ifao.com. Cost is $75 per person and includes a continental breakfast and a hearty lunch.
For more information, contact Carrie James at 519-986-3560 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEAT CONFERENCE IN TURKEY
In mid October, two marketing staff from the Ontario Wheat Board attended the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) conference in Turkey. This is the third year the Ontario Wheat Board has attended the conference and expo. The goal of the trade mission was to meet potential buyers from the Middle East and Africa. This mission allowed staff to build on relationships forged through past trade missions and strengthen the reputation of Ontario as a supplier of quality wheat.
Currently, Ontario wheat acreage and production is growing faster than domestic demand. This gap is seen as a positive opportunity for Ontario wheat producers to become consistent exporters of primarily Soft Red Winter Wheat. It is for this reason that the Ontario Wheat Board has been focusing on export market development. This focus will be maintained in Grain Farmers of Ontario.
The Middle East, Northeast Africa and Egypt are large importers of hard red winter and soft red winter wheat and these areas are strong potential export markets for Ontario’s wheat. Over 500 conference delegates attend the IAOM making it an ideal event to have direct contact with buyers from these regions and build Ontario’s reputation as a consistent supplier of quality wheat.
ROYAL AGRICULTURAL WINTER FAIR
Ontario grain farmers will be well represented at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. With more than 300,000 visitors attending – many urban families and non-farmers – the Royal is a great venue to teach people about grain and oilseed farmers and farms. Visit Grain Farmers of Ontario sites at the Royal from November 5 to 16, 2009.
FARMERS FEED CITIES! AT THE ROYAL
Farmers Feed Cities! campaign coordinator, Jenny Van Rooy has been working hard these past few months preparing for the Royal. FFC! will have a high profile at the fair with their brightly coloured tents and prize wheel. For a chance to spin the prize wheel and win, children and adults alike must answer trivia questions about farming. Families will get a chance to win some great FFC! swag and learn something about Ontario agriculture. Visit Jenny in the booth across from the Journey to Your Good Health section in Hall B of the Direct Energy Centre.
The Soy House, featured in the October issue of the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine, is sure to be a big hit at the Royal. Visitors to the fair will be able to explore an entire house made from and filled with soy products. The house, built by Quality Engineered Homes Ltd. in partnership with Ontario soybean farmers and Habitat for Humanity, will teach visitors about how soybeans are grown in the field and about products made from soybeans.
Look for the 1,200 square foot house in Hall B of the Direct Energy Centre.
ALL ABOUT WHEAT
Through a partnership with the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI), Ontario wheat will be featured prominently at the Royal Winter Fair. The display has two sections: one features CIGI’s biofuel trailer and the second is all about Ontario wheat.
The Ontario wheat display will have two different activities which target both younger and older children. Youngsters will be able to learn about milling wheat as they grind their own sample of either hard or soft wheat. Through the grinding process they will learn about the differences between hard and soft wheat and what each type is used for.
Older children will have an opportunity to do gluten tests on wheat learning the differences between gluten levels in hard and soft wheat and why they have different baking applications.
All participants at the booth will be able to take home their own flour sample which they milled themselves.
AMERICAN CONSUMERS SUPPORT CORN
A recent American survey conducted for the National Corn Growers Association has found that there is broad public respect and trust for family farmers. The survey also found that 65 percent of respondents support or strongly support a good fuel alternative such as ethanol.
Overall, the American public has a broad trust for corn products, including the use of corn as food, feed, fuel and its use as a sweetener. The public also supports the use of corn as fibre and packaging.
The survey also covered what the public sees as the top benefits of corn-based ethanol. The American public supports ethanol primarily because it reduces dependency on foreign oil, it creates new jobs and for its environmental benefits.
Although the survey targeted 1,000 US voters, it is still a positive story for all North American corn producers. To see the entire study, please visit the National Corn Growers Association website at www.ncga.com.
CHANGE IN AGREEMENT ON INTERNAL TRADE
An amendment to the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) was approved on October 15, 2009 by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers responsible for Internal Trade. The amendment will enter into force as soon as all Parties’ signatures are received. The amendment revises Chapter Nine on Agricultural and Food Goods.
The change extends its coverage to all technical measures related to agricultural products. “This will further facilitate inter-provincial trade for the benefit of all Canadians, including producers and processers,” states a news release issued from the Committee on Internal Trade. The revised chapter will not apply to measures relating to supply management systems regulated by federal or provincial governments or provincially regulated marketing boards.
Despite the assurance that supply management systems and marketing boards will not be impacted by the amendment, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) are concerned the legal language in the text does not adequately protect these powers.
The CFA and OFA are also disappointed that there was no consultation with affected stakeholders. “The CFA is tired of the paternalistic, rather than true partnership, approach by government that they know best. What possible reason could they have not to discuss with industry if they indeed felt it was a good deal?” said Laurent Pellerin, CFA President in a news release from CFA.
According to the government, the recent entry into force of the new AIT Dispute Resolution Chapter strengthens the enforcement mechanisms for government to government disputes. Ministers are currently considering alternative options for improving the person to government dispute resolution process.
Look for updates on this issue in upcoming magazines.
AGRICULTURE HITS THE TRAILS
Farmers are proud of their work to protect our land, air and water and are sharing this with trail users in the Greenbelt. The first in a series of interpretive signs describing these environmental achievements was recently unveiled by Jackie Fraser, AGCare Executive Director, on the Elora-Cataract Trail in Erin, Ontario.
These achievements include greenhouse gas emission reductions by the equivalent of taking 125,000 cars off the road through improved soil conservation measures, $600 million on environmental improvements and 300,000 days in environmental training, and over 70 percent of farmers voluntarily participating in the Environmental Farm Plan program.
Farmers are proud of their environmental achievements and the Agriculture Hits the Trails project was designed to share this information with trail users within the Greenbelt. “The colourful and informative signs showcase a range of advancements made by farmers from general environmental planning on farms, to specific achievements in greenhouse gas reduction and reduced energy use,” says Fraser.
Please visit www.caringfortheland.com for more information about the Agriculture Hits the Trails project. •